Barbarians Make Barber Cup History
24/09/19: Sunday morning at Eton saw an historic first for Fives as a new team made their debut in the Alan Barber Cup.
Previously the preserve of pure alumni teams, the sport's blue riband three pair club knockout competition was graced this year by the "Barbarians", a team for players who went to non Eton Fives-playing schools. Their first ever match threw up all sorts of interesting sub plots as they found themselves drawn against recent semi-finalists Lancing, with husband and wife Ashley and Chris Lumbard up against each other as opposing team captains, Berkhamsted staff member Ryan Perrie on the opposite side to colleagues George Campbell and Doug Foster and Under 25 partners Alex Abrahams and Noah Caplin also lining up for different teams.
The withdrawal of Perrie a few days before the fixture gave the Lancing team what turned out to be a decisive edge at the top of the order as Campbell and Tom Betts won the first pair match 3-0 against Caplin and Julian Black. The strength in depth of the Barbarians squad enabled them to record their first ever Barber Cup victory at third pair thanks to Ralph Morgan and Steve Gore, meaning that the match came down to the second pair, which was eventually won by the fancied Lancing pair of Foster & Abrahams, but not without a fight as Karen Hird and Chris Lumbard pushed them all the way in four close games.
Lancing move through to the second round to take on defending champions the Old Harrovians, but the Barbarians have certainly made their presence felt and there will be plenty of teams keen to avoid being drawn against them in next year's competition. How long before we see them potentially challenging for a place in the final and maybe even a win?
The full draw and results for the 2019/20 Alan Barber Cup can be seen HERE